SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Graduating seniors from around the area are preparing to start the next chapter of their lives. For many of those seniors that next chapter is moving away from home for the four years and attending college or University either in state or abroad.
College expenses can quickly add up for students and their families. According to the University of Alabama website, the total cost for the 2016-17 school year was nearly $30,000. At Auburn University, tuition alone, with no room and board and no books, will cost you $10,500 each year.
Each year, Alabama’s reigning radio station of the year, Yea!106.5, provides a boost for graduating seniors through scholarships, helping their families to offset the costs of post-secondary education. The station launched its scholarship program in 2013 and has since awarded over $13,000 to seniors from area high schools.
“We are always excited about this annual opportunity to provide an extra boost for graduating seniors. Although our intent is to recognize academic achievement, we also want to reward integrity, leadership, initiative, entrepreneurial spirit communication skills, and community involvement,” stated Lee Perryman, Managing Member of Marble City Media LLC. “We received more applications than ever this year, and all were impressive.”
Yea!106.5 received nearly 30 applications for its scholarship from local students. After review, the field was narrowed down to four students from four different schools — Sylacauga High School, Fayetteville High School, Childersburg High School, and B.B. Comer Memorial High School.
Sylacauga High School’s recipient was Rilee Williams. Her list of volunteer experience is too long to note, but includes tutoring Nichols-Lawson Middle School students, working with the Sylacauga Alliance for Family Development, assisting special needs students in the Special Olympics. Her extra-curricular activities include band, tennis, National Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta. Williams will attend the University of South Alabama and major in special education.
Kelsey Sims was the winner from B.B. Comer Memorial High School. She is an active community volunteer involved in Key Club, Relay for Life, REMOC, and participates in other outreach programs geared towards serving others. She was the captain for the cheer leading team and played varsity softball. Sims plans to attend Jacksonville State University and major in nursing.
Hallee Lightsey from Fayetteville also earned a scholarship from Yea!106.5. She participated in the Student Government Association, Future Business Leaders of America, captained the school’s cheer squad, played softball, and volunteered her time coaching little league softball. Lightsey plans to attend Auburn University at Montgomery and major in social work.
Additionally, Childersburg High School’s winner was Annie Ozemnt. Ozment, three-time class president, graduated from CHS with a 4.0 grade point average. Her community service records include volunteering with Alabama Childhood Food Solutions, Children’s Miracle Network, and organizing Sock it to Childhood Hunger. Extracurricular activities include cheer, golf, volleyball, Future Business Leaders of Alabama, and Key Club. Ozment will attend Auburn University and plans to major in pre-dentistry.
Based in Sylacauga, Marble City Media LLC is the state’s fastest-growing radio group. Its four FM and two AM signals cover East Central Alabama between Birmingham and Auburn and north-south from Talladega into Montgomery, while its digital information products currently focus on the Sylacauga area through SylacaugaNews.com. Following its first acquisition in Sylacauga in 2012, the company constructed new stations in 2014, 2015, and 2016 and purchased two more in 2016. It also holds a construction permit for a new FM facility near Auburn.
The company’s radio stations won ABBY Awards for broadcast excellence in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017 and are home of Alabama’s 2017 Radio Station of the Year, the Alabama Broadcasters Association’s Broadcaster of the Year in 2014, and Best Morning Show in 2016.
Marble City Media LLC is an active member of the Alabama Broadcasters Association, National Association of Broadcasters, Sylacauga Chamber of Commerce, Greater Coosa Valley Chamber of Commerce, Greater Talladega Area Chamber of Commerce, Coosa County Chamber of Commerce, Alexander City Chamber of Commerce, and Dadeville Area Chamber of Commerce.